An Update on Recording, and Triptych
I know that I've been really lazy about updating this blog for awhile now. I'm sorry about that.
If it's any consolation, it's because I've been working in my spare time pretty much nonstop since early last spring on new music. My plan after finishing Asphalt Ghosts was to take the next year to focus on writing an album's worth of completely new songs, and then set aside a few weeks during the following summer (last summer) for legitimate, sit-down-for-eight-hours-at-a-time recording sessions to record those songs at a much higher level of quality than my previous albums were recorded.
Well, I did spend a lot of time this past summer recording, and it was a really great experience. It was kind of weird and quiet and lonely in some ways, but ultimately I learned a lot about sound, and microphones, and how to not sing through my nose so much, and how to fingerpick in a bunch of new ways, and how to use a wah pedal, and how to use a looper, and on and on and on...
Anyway, pretty much every day that I wasn't hiking or backpacking (and Lindsey and I had some spectacular backpacking adventures, which I'm sure I'll write about later in some capacity) I was working on some aspect of this album, hoping I'd finish it before school started back up. The bad news is that I didn't even come close to finishing, but the good news is that it's because I wrote way more songs than I'd originally expected to.
I started writing last March, hoping to come up with twelve or thirteen songs. By the time I was done, I'd ended up with fifty-two, all of which I recorded demos for. I cut the final list for "the" album down to forty-four, which is about the time I realized I had a problem. Well, I guess it's not really a "problem," per se: my album had become three albums.
Once I realized this, it didn't take long to decide that I was going to call it Triptych, after the three-paneled form of visual art popularized during the middle ages. I'm not sure which songs are going to go on which album yet, but I do know that there will be three of them. The first one (the original one) is going to be called Wilderness Amen, after a lyric in the song "Running." The second one is going to be called Fire and Rain, after the title of a long story-style song describing the experience of watching a storm break over the peaks of the Wallowa mountains while huddling behind a rock at 9,000 feet. I'm not sure what I'm going to call the third one yet.
Lindsey's going to sing some harmonies and do the art for all three albums, including some new wolf-themed stuff, about which I'm really excited.
So, by the end of summer, I'd finished overdubs on about half of the songs: the first twenty-one of the forty-four tracks. So at this point, I'm about halfway there. It's slow going. You know, because of the "real job" and all.
I took a break from recording in the fall and early winter to record and produce the first two of four Triptych Sessions videos, which you can read more about here (and you should really check them out, as they're the first live recording of myself that I've done that I actually like).
After uploading those to the site and doing some major Wolf Music-related site updates over the last two weeks, I've spent the last few nights relearning the remaining twenty-three Triptych songs and will be recording in the studio in fits and starts, likely until at least the beginning of summer. My hope is to finish the entire thing by September, if not before then. But I've also never mixed and tracked forty-four songs at once before, so it might end up being slower going than that. The songs should all be recorded by the end of summer, at the very least.
With all of this Triptych-related stuff: recording, session videos, looking into future gigs, working with Lindsey to brainstorm new art...it's meant that I've kind of put the brakes on my other writing lately, which I definitely miss, but venturing even briefly into the possibility of publishing my travel stories through a professional venue ended up being so disheartening and gross that I'm also just happy to be back making music in the studio and not feeling any kind of pressure to make it something it's not for the sake of some outside interest or possibility of making money.
For now, at least, it's going to be (almost) all about Triptych. I'll try to update more often going forward, too. The new Wix blogging platform should help; not only does it look more modern on the site proper, it's also way easier to write with on my end. It's sort of like blogging on tumblr, actually. Which brings back some fond memories.
If you're interested in keeping up with things on a more day-to-day basis, my social media links have been updated, too: just Twitter and Instagram, but I use both at least a few times a week for the usual social media stuff.
Thanks for reading, and for sticking around. Based on the tracks I've finished so far, I think Triptych is going to be worth the wait.